Wednesday, December 30, 2020

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #175: Hiking Theology (published 12-30-2020)


House Mountain hike #175 (my eleventh hike there this year) is in the record! (This was also my 39th hike on “My Mountain” with “bionic” joints.)

My ol' truck and I had attempted to get to House Mountain, about 12 miles away, on Christmas Day, when the six inches of snow was still on the ground. That day, the weather was mostly cloudy. The high was 28F. I had hopes! We tried three different routes, but the snow and ice on the roads stopped us. We could have gone another, longer and easier, route, but Hogskin Road would have been impossible, probably. Beaten, but not defeated, we returned home.

Photos and Comments

I had anticipated a muddy and too warm hike, so I decided to hike the two loop trails only, with the possibility that I would climb the ridge, if I decided to do so. I had on a T-shirt and short sleeve shirt only. (Well, I had on jeans, shoes, and ballcap also, in case you were wondering. Yes, I wore underwear and socks too!)

That's what they had decided to name the lower level parking lot. I had to park my truck in the lower level parking area, since the upper and main parking area was full. It is Wednesday! The weather and mud are not great! Why are so many hiking today?

The above photo is looking east, from where I had hiked, after I'd parked my truck. It is an easy little trail. You can turn left or right, for this loop, behind me. I turned right, to go up. (We all need to turn right, to go up.)

After I had turned right to go up, I arrived here. The above photo is looking northeast. I had reached the main/upper parking area. They call the east/lower loop trail “Right Sawmill Trail.” I think, decades ago, a sawmill used to be in the area. The trail name continues the heritage.

Seconds after I had taken the “Right Sawmill Trail” photo, I turned left, to look southwest. There is the upper parking area, in part! The man in the photo was kicking mud off his shoes. The information board, on the lower left side, has my photo of the mountain, from a middle bluff, that I had taken years ago, in the snow. My name, “Marion Ferrell,” is on the photo.

I had walked farther southwest, a few yards, past the information board, which is behind me now, to take this photo, still looking southwest. They call this upper west loop trail the “Left Sawmill Loop.”

The above trail sign is the one that I touch, to check my time on my watch, as I start hiking up the west trail, to the west bluff. It is nine tenths of a mile up, with six switchbacks, after you get past the lower switchbacks. The trail will challenge you. I touch my rock on the west bluff then check my time hiking up, on my watch. I can make it up in 30 to 34 minutes now. My average “pre-bionic joints” time was 24 to 26 minutes. My right foot and knee still slow me down – for now.

Today, I just “hiked” the two little loop trails. I will explain.

After I had finished the “Left Sawmill Loop,” I turned left, heading northwest. I had to see how muddy it might be! I had not gone up the trail too far yet. I am still at the base of the mountain. The above photo is good enough to show the mud. I have stepped across the rocks many times, with and without “bionic” joints, to keep climbing up, through the other muddy spots that I know well. Today, I decided that I would not “enjoy another muddy hike.” I have done many of them.

I had walked back, past the information board, in the upper parking area. (I always touch my photo, on the information board.) I hiked back down to my truck, in the lower parking area. The above photo shows my truck prominently. Twelve other vehicles were parked. My truck was number thirteen! Realizing that, my truck told me to get him out of there! He didn't want to be number thirteen!


My stubborn will was determined to get House Mountain hike #175 done, before the end of 2020. I did it. I knew that I would.

Yesterday, at my annual physical, my good doctor and friend had stated what I already know. He remarked that my strong will had motivated my recovery to this point. I knew it already. We enjoyed a laugh. I had inspired my good doctor and friend.

Beaten in life, but not defeated in life, we return Home eventually – if we have lived according to the grace that we received in Christ Jesus. In everlasting life, Home will be wonderful! That is what my House Mountain hike #175 today brings to my mind. I hope that this article benefits you in the same way. Hiking theology does work.

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